Published on: April 14, 2022 at 11:18 IST
Karnataka Minister K.S. Eshwarappa has been arrested on charges of reducing suicide by a contractor who accused him of seeking to kick off government projects. But the BJP politician grabbed his heels and refused to resign, questioning the authenticity of the so-called suicide note that bears his name.
The Congressional Congress is holding protests in Karnataka and New Delhi demanding the removal of Eshwarappa, the minister of rural development and Panchayati Raj, and demanding the peace of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders.
Patil, 42, a Belgaum native, was found dead in a hotel room in Udupi on Tuesday. He accused Eshwarappa of demanding a 40 percent reduction to clear the Rs 4-crore debt for road work in the Belgaum district.
Patil, who had previously written to Prime Minister Modi informing him of the commission’s demands, had written in a suicide note, which he sent via WhatsApp to some of Patil’s friends, saying: “Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, who is responsible for my death, should get appropriate punishment.”
Udupi police on Tuesday booked Eshwarappa and his aides Basavaraj and Ramesh under the Indian Penal Code, Sections 306 (prescribing suicide) and 34 (normal intent), to which they will be sentenced to 10 years in prison or without sentence.
“What is the death note here? A WhatsApp message. I don’t know if he (Patil) had typed it or someone else did,” Eshwarappa said at the media conference.
“The Opposition is trying to find fault with everything. The whole background of the incident will be known once the investigation is over,” the Chief Minister, Bommai said.
Congress demanded Eshwarappa’s arrest and dismissal from the cabinet. In a letter to governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot, the party urged him to sack Eshwarappa from the ministry, and have him booked for abetment of suicide — which the police later did — get a case registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and have him arrested immediately.